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View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much to our witnesses. You've presented a number of excellent points today, and some good recommendations.
Professor Ong, I'm curious to get to some more of your thinking. You seem to be at least partially hopeful that there is an ability to reverse the takeover we're now seeing in Hong Kong. You said that it will take time, but you seem to hold out that hope. Could you address that briefly?
If that's the case, should we view Hong Kong not so much by going back to the Cold War but as a Poland, going forward, with that resilience we all know is alive in Hong Kong in the people? Could you comment on your reasons for hope?
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Yes, I think that's a good point.
I'm going to turn now to Professor Medeiros.
I take your point that what we're seeing in Hong Kong is not a prelude to war and that we have to be careful. Not only does Canada have about 300,000 citizens in the territory, but there are millions of like-minded friends in Hong Kong, literally millions. I think the talk of a cold war is overstated because of, as Mr. Cheung just said, the ethnonationalism we see on display in China.
I'd like your thoughts. Should we think of what we're seeing in Asia now as more akin to what we saw with respect to Imperial Japan: a nationalist population and government, an expansionary state and a military regime that does not have civilian oversight? If that's the case, should the attention now not turn completely to Taiwan? Taiwan is the nation island. China wants it, and it has long made this clear. Do we not need to stick together on this, particularly with the Taiwan Defence Act in the United States? If this is not managed properly, unlike Hong Kong, this could lead to a real clash in the South China Sea.
Could I get your comments on that? You have just over a minute to respond.
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
To our witnesses, thank you for joining us today. You've all added some really solid and good information, as well as insights.
I'll start with Ms. Sharon Hom.
First, thank you for stiffening my spine. Sometimes my questions are rhetorical, but it's always good to hear the reasons for hope and the reasons why we need to do more, not less, for the people of Hong Kong, while we also consider how best to help our friends in neighbouring Taiwan.
I thought earlier today that Professor Ong had some really good points about Hong Kong still being the golden goose for mainland officials and for the country. This means the territory is not going to suddenly or quickly—or even, perhaps, gradually—become just another Chinese city, because of the wealth and prosperity that would be lost. This will benefit both dissidents and activists in Hong Kong to continue their struggle for freedom and human rights.
You asked for a few minutes. Could you maybe give us in 90 seconds all the things you wanted to say but didn't have a chance to? I will cut you off after 90 seconds because I, too, am on the clock and under the mindful eye of our own Big Brother here.
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
I'll have to cut you off in about 15 seconds, but go ahead.
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you.
Professor Kaeding, I thought your insight was unique. You provided a possible glimpse into the thinking of mainland officials. The point you made that Beijing cannot be trusted has some serious implications, because if a partner cannot be trusted, that means they have to be dealt with as untrustworthy.
What, then, should Canada's policy be? Should it be, then, for Canadian trading, to have commercial relations with both mainland China and Hong Kong, but also have the internal fortitude to denounce and speak out when Beijing is out of step, something that unfortunately we're not seeing now? Is it the combination of both trade, which is mutually beneficial to both parties, and speaking out, finding our voice in Canada and perhaps following in the footsteps of Australia and some of the other Asian nations that are closer to mainland China? What say you to that?
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Right. That would mean, of course, that when you speak out, there might be some blowback on commercial relations, but that's just the price of standing up.
Basically, Mr. Chatigny, you do not believe there is much that Canada or its allies can do to change Beijing. Did I understand you correctly?
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you very much.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you to the witnesses. I appreciate all the responses to the questions that have been provided. A lot of the questions are starting to become repetitive.
My concern continues to be that this program was created to deliver $900 million to support students. The future of those funds is unclear, now that the program has not been implemented, and it's a huge loss of opportunity for the youth across our country.
My first question is about a July 3, 2020 news article. The editor-in-chief of The Charity Report stated that WE Charity has connections to “18,000 schools in Canada, the U.S. and the UK” making it “Canada's largest youth” network; however, “WE does not have those kinds of relationships with other non-profit organizations and charities” necessary to find placements for youth.
How effective would a charitable or non-profit organization such as WE Charity have been in recruiting and finding placements for student volunteers?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you.
My next question is in regard to the $8 million that remains outstanding and is to be reimbursed. Could you tell us why this has not been paid? Why wasn't this paid along with the other portion of money you reimbursed? I'm sure there are people from ESDC watching, and maybe they need to hear this.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I have one more question. This has been asked before, but I think it's important that everybody is clear on this situation.
I want you to confirm that the expenses incurred before the CA was signed were at WE's own risk. Can you tell us a little bit about why you would take that risk? It's a lot of money.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you to Mr. Cameron for joining us today.
I want to ask about the Katimavik program. It's an Inuit name, an Inuit language name. I see it's located in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, but I don't see any projects in the north.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
You would have had the capacity to deliver in the Northwest Territories with the CSSG. Is that what you're saying?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I know historically we saw a lot of people from your organization in the north. We saw a lot of people in different communities, and I don't see that anymore. I don't see anybody from your organization in the communities, and I travel right across the Northwest Territories.
Is that something as a result of the cuts that happened during the Harper government in 2012? You pulled back. You have a Inuit name, but you don't have a strong presence in the north.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I'm sure the impacts in 2012 affected the Katimavik organization. How have the impacts that happened here for this youth opportunity affected your organization?
I think there are a lot of concerns around missed opportunity for the north, but there are also concerns about the ripple effects that have happened to charities and non-profit organizations that have missed out, including all the individuals who would have served and were served by those organizations from coast to coast to coast. Could you talk about that, including how this has impacted your organization?
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